Posts tagged with "Outgoing President Donald Trump"

Mikie Sherrill says unidentified lawmakers led ‘reconnaissance’ tours ahead of Capitol attack

January 13, 2021

Was the insurrection an inside job? Did lawmakers join with President Donald Trump to aid and abet the rioters? Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-New Jersey) revealed on Tuesday, January 12, that she had witnessed Congressional colleagues escorting people through the Capitol on January 5 for what she described as “reconnaissance” ahead of the next day’s violent insurrection that left five dead, Politico reports.

In a 13-minute Facebook video billed as an address to her constituents about the House’s efforts to hold President Donald Trump accountable for inciting the riot, Sherrill included the allegation as part of a call to hold Trump’s allies in Congress accountable as well.

“I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted [the outgoing president]—those members of Congress who had groups coming through the capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance for the next day—those members of Congress who incited the violent crowd, those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I’m going see that they’re held accountable,” Sherrill said.

Sherrill did not identify the lawmakers she was referring to, how she was able to describe their activities as “reconnaissance,” or how she knew they were connected to the riots that consumed the Capitol the following day. She told Politico on Wednesday that she’s referred her information to authorities.

“We’re requesting an investigation right now with certain agencies,” she said.

The startling allegation comes as lawmakers are still seeking answers about the extent of planning and coordination behind the January 6 Trump rally that became the violent assault on the Capitol. Federal investigators say they’re pouring enormous resources into unearthing details of a potential “seditious conspiracy” and that some of the undisclosed evidence about what happened inside the Capitol will be “shocking.”

Some Democrats, like Sherrill, are also calling for punishment for the Republicans who —like Trump —delivered incendiary remarks that preceded the violence at the Capitol, as well as others who joined Trump’s effort to delegitimize the 2020 presidential election.

Research contact: @politico

COVID aid package in limbo after Trump’s surprise demand to boost direct payments

December 24, 2020

Outgoing President Donald Trump’s last-minute demand to increase the size of direct payments to Americans—from $600 to $2,000— threw the status of the U.S. Congress’s coronavirus relief package into limbo Wednesday, just days before many crucial support programs expire, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In a video posted on Tuesday night, December 22, on Twitter, the president criticized the legislation and called on lawmakers to increase direct payments to Americans to $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for couples—up from $600 per adult and per child, the current level in the bill.

His unexpected broadside against the bill unleashed another standoff between the White House and Capitol Hill—where, the Journal said, Senate Republicans had angered Trump by acknowledging Democrat Joe Biden as the president-elect.

Trump already had threatened to veto the annual defense policy bill, which passed both chambers of Congress with broad, bipartisan support.

His pushback on the coronavirus relief package surprised lawmakers, many of whom already had departed Washington after Congress overwhelmingly approved the relief bill in a 92-6 vote in the Senate and 359-53 in the House. The 5,593-page year-end package combines the coronavirus relief and a $1.4 trillion spending bill needed to fund the government through next September, the Journal reported.

The final bill approved by Congress carrying the $600 check to no public role. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been the main White House negotiator in talks with congressional leaders—who said the final agreement had the support of President Trump. The president waited nearly a full day after it had passed both chambers of Congress to lodge his complaints.

Democrats, who had pressed for higher direct payments during the negotiations, welcomed the opportunity to seek more aid for households struggling from the economic impacts of the pandemic. They also called on. Trump to sign the sweeping year-end package, which includes extensions of unemployment benefits, among other coronavirus relief measures.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said on Twitter late Tuesday that she would try this week to pass under unanimous consent legislation approving $2,000 checks. Multiple Democrats had already prepared legislation authorizing the larger checks.

“I’m in. Whaddya say, Mitch?” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York.) said on Twitter late Tuesday, retweeting a comment from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D.-New York), who said she had a $2,000 check bill ready to go. “The American people deserve it.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who had pushed to keep the coronavirus aid package’s cost below $900 billion, has notyet commented on Trump’s new stance.

Research contact  @WSJ

Mike Pence backs away from the Trump election ‘fraud’ train wreck

December 4, 2020

Vice President Mike Pence has been a go-to fundraising draw for the president’s campaign. Indeed, during October and early November, he let no more than a day pass without sending out an email requesting a handout to support the Trump 2020 election fraud crusade, as well as the Trump 2024 re-election effort.

But that changed late last month. According to a report by The Daily Beast, since November 25, not a single fundraising email from the Trump campaign or its Republican National Committee fundraising account has featured Pence’s name in the “from” field.

And this week, that Republican National Committee joint fundraising committee, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, made another subtle change: A handful of its emails swapped out the official Trump-Pence campaign logo for one featuring just the president’s name.

At first blush, The Daily Beast, says those may seem like minor tweaks to gimmicky portions of Team Trump’s fundraising strategy. A source familiar with the process said the fundraising emails do not go to Vice President Pence’s team for clearance and an RNC official said the digital team was merely testing a new logo around the end-of-the-month deadline. Indeed, some of the joint fundraising committee’s emails this week have included the original campaign logo with Pence’s name below Trump’s.

But several high-level sources say that the graphics change, along with Pence’s disappearance from the headers of President Donald Trump’s increasingly frantic and conspiratorial pleas, actually are not coincidental. According to four people with knowledge of the matter, they reflect an effort by the vice president and his team to distance Pence from some of the president’s more outlandish claims about a conspiracy to undermine the election and illegally deny him a second term in office.

“It is an open secret [in Trumpworld] that Vice President Pence absolutely does not feel the same way about the legal effort as President Trump does,” s a senior administration official told The Daily Beast. “The vice president doesn’t want to go down with this ship… and believes much of the legal work has been unhelpful.”

The Trump campaign declined to comment on this story. Devin O’Malley, a spokesperson for Pence, said Wednesday night, “As he has for the last four years, the vice president is proud to stand with the president—in this case to ensure every legal vote is counted and every illegal vote is rejected. The Daily Beast’s anonymous sources have no real insight into what the vice president thinks on these matters.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Biden set to deliver Obamacare speech as Supreme Court weighs law’s future

November 11, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden—who campaigned on a promise to keep and enhance Obamacare—was set to deliver a health care-focused speech on Tuesday. November 10, even as the Supreme Court heard a case that could overturn the law.

Earlier in the day, Supreme Court justices listened to oral arguments in a case that seeks to invalidate the landmark health reform law. They will likely take initial votes at their private Friday, November 13, conference and begin the process of writing opinions, though a decision isn’t expected until the first half of 2021.

According to a report by CNN, President Donald Trump’s administration is looking to undo former President Barack Obama’s signature health law. And even with Biden set to take office on January 20, there is little he can do: Even if his administration switches sides and argues in favor of Obamacare, the case will continue because the original lawsuit was brought by a coalition of Republican attorneys general.

Protecting Obamacare was a central theme of Biden’s campaign. During the Democratic primary, he argued for expanding the law by adding a “public option” that would allow Americans to buy into a government-run health insurance plan— and, by beefing up federal premium subsidies, that would make Affordable Care Act coverage more affordable. He opposed more progressive rivals’ push to scrap private insurance entirely in favor of a single-payer, “Medicare- for-all”-type system.

Trump’s administration and the Republican-led House and Senate failed to repeal Obamacare during Trump’s first two years in Congress, CNN noted. Trump and the GOP in late 2017 did enact a tax law that gutted Obamacare’s individual mandate by setting the penalty for not having insurance at $0.

Trump’s administration later joined the Republican-led states, which argued in court that Congress’ action rendered the individual mandate unconstitutional, and since it’s a linchpin of the Affordable Care Act, the entire law should be invalidated.

Tuesday’s speech comes as Biden’s transition becomes more contentious, with Trump refusing to concede and making a series of baseless claims that seek to undermine the legitimacy of the election. His administration has not yet taken the legal step necessary to allow the transition process to begin by giving Biden’s team access to $6.3 million set aside for the process, as well as access to federal agencies.

Research contact: @CNN